Going private? IBC-13’s shutdown looms over lack of subsidy

The government-owned Intercontinental Broadcasting Network (IBC) is seen to shut down next year unless privatization efforts succeed.

The network has zero funding under the 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP), a clear signal that it’s up for sale.

IBC general manager Corazon Reboso confirmed the plan for the network in an interview on state-run PTV.

“Dahil nga hindi kami nabigyan ng allocation for 2023 primarily because ang sabi sa amin ng DBM, IBC is tagged for privatization,” she said.

The network once owned by banker Roberto Benedicto is currently operated by the national government as part of ill-gotten assets seized from former dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s cronies.

IBC received a subsidy of P130 million from the government in 2021. It was slashed to P73.7 million in 2022.

The network’s revenues got a boost due to the blocktime deal with the Department of Education for blended learning. This revenue stream, however, is no longer viable next year as students return to face-to-face classes.

Network president and CEO Hexilon Alvarez said 300 employees are at risk of losing their jobs.

“Worst case scenario would probably be by the end of July (2023), we will have to stop operations,” Alvarez said.

Germany raids properties belonging to Russian oligarch

German investigators on Wednesday raided properties belonging to a Russian oligarch suspected of tax evasion and breaking EU sanctions, police and prosecutors said, with sources naming billionaire Alisher Usmanov as the target.

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